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Universiteit Utrecht
3Rs-Centre Utrecht Life Sciences
Newsletter, March 2019
The mission statement of the 3Rs-Centre Utrecht Life Sciences (ULS) is to stimulate the development, acceptance and implementation of methods which can Replace, Reduce and Refine (the 3Rs) animal experiments. The Centre facilitates the 3Rs in education and animal research in many ways, by providing information and advice about 3Rs models.

Introducing a 3D model for studying breast cancer development
The development and progression of cancer is increasingly being investigated in vitro. In this type of research, often two-dimensional monoculture models are used, before hypotheses are tested in an animal model. In terms of complexity, however, there is a big gap between these in vitro and in vivo models. At the faculty of Veterinary Medicine at Utrecht University, prof. dr. Majorie van Duursen has recently worked on the development of a three-dimensional co-culture model to study breast cancer, which could be an important intermediate step in these levels of complexity. She used the university’s 3R Stimulus fund to finance the development of a prototype. This model has the potential to reduce the number of animals used for research and to improve human-relevant cancer models.
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Apply now: Advanced In Vitro Models - Summer School Utrecht
Learn about how advanced in vitro models (AIM) hold the potential to reduce animal experimentation by scientific breakthroughs. The convergence of science, technology, legislation and extrapolation modelling in Utrecht are highlighted in this week-long course. This course is comprised of meeting experts, hands-on bench work, modelling and demonstrations. The course allows for a high amount of interaction with lecturers, keynote speakers and fellow participants.
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Re-edited Guide on Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in animal experimentation
Continuing Professional Development applies to all staff who carry out procedures on animals or design animal experiments. The objective of CPD is to ensure that relevant information is exchanged and that ‘best practices’ are known and understood. The IvD-Platform and 3Rs-Centre ULS have produced and published this bilingual (Dutch-English) document in cooperation with NCad, with the aim of providing establishment licensees and the staff concerned (managers, the designated competence officer and staff who carry out work involving animal experiments) with guidelines on the introduction of the CPD system. 
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Applying non-animal strategies for assessing skin sensitisation
ECHA hosted a workshop on 7 and 8 February on the progress made in non-animal testing strategies for assessing skin sensitisation. The workshop was co-organised by the European Partnership for Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing (EPAA), Cefic's Long-range Research Initiative (Cefic-LRI) and the International Fragrance Association (IFRA). Take a look at the outcomes of the workshop

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Short communication: What is understood by “animal-free research”?
Over the past 60 years, researchers in various disciplines have adopted cell and tissue culturing techniques for a diversity of purposes, including the reduction and, in some research areas, replacement of animal experiments. However, several animal-derived products have been used and are still being used in cell and tissue culture, a fact that many involved parties are unaware of. This is often the case with regard to the use of fetal bovine serum, or Matrigel, for example. The authors suggest that there should be a clear distinction in the animal-free research field between research that partly relies on the use of animal-derived products and, thus, only partly contributes to the 3Rs, and research completely devoid of animal-derived products.
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Publication: Phase 0 - Applying the 3Rs and Increasing the Efficiency of Human Drug Development
Phase 0 (also called exploratory IND or exploratory clinical trials) is a regulatory framework that uses limited exposure to drugs in first-in-human studies to study drug effects in humans with minimal risks to research participants. These approaches hold the promise of increased safety and efficiency of the drug development process and a reduction in the use of animals for human drug development. Increased adoption of these approaches is contingent on familiarity with the considerable range and flexibility in the regulations, the use of sensitive analytical tools (such as PET, AMS, LC-MS/MS and CRDS), and reforms in industry working culture to encourage and reward the early termination of non-viable compounds.
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Human-derived model of blood-brain barrier contributes to treatment of brain tumours 
To give thousands of brain tumour patients a better chance of survival, Animal Free Research UK is funding Professor Geoff Pilkington and Dr Zaynah Maherally at the University of Portsmouth to develop the first cutting-edge, animal free 3D model of the blood-brain barrier. You can watch this film to discover how their all-human research could find more effective ways of treating patients, including children, who suffer from brain tumours.
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Support our activities!
The 3Rs-Centre ULS maintains the 3Rs databases: The Humane Endpoints Websitethe Interspecies Database and the FCS-free Database. These websites contribute to the refinement, reduction and replacement of animals used for research and are free of charge for their users. The website does not receive any financial support and their future relies on donations and gifts. You can help us with keeping these websites available for free by donating a small amount of money for the maintenance and updating of these databases. We are happy with all donations! The 3Rs Programme is part of the charitable fund Friends of VetMed, and as such is exempt from any gift or inheritance taxes. This means that 100% of your donation will contribute towards the purpose specified by you.
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Take a look at international workshops, conferences, meetings and online webinars in the online events calendar of the 3Rs-Centre ULS.
Events       »

Contact details
Yalelaan 2
(+31) 30-2538009

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